17 JULY 09

Fri 17 Jul 2009 21:50
38 47.269 N 33 20.009 W
19:30 ut
A better day than expected with a little excitement thrown in.
I went on watch at 05:00 local tome just before sun up, the sun making the horizon about 15 minutes into the watch. through the night we had been making 5.5-6 kts on target however with the sun the wind began to drop,  and later I set the light weight genoa and we made steady progress, 4.5 kts still on target. the day was bright and sunny and very nice if you have no time of arrival mind . At that time were still 280 miles from Horta and we cannot motor that far so do not book the restaurant just yet.
Having spotted a ship on the horizon and confirmed by radar that he was 10 miles away with a closest point of approach of 7.5 miles I was back in the cockpit looking around and there on eth port side 20 meters away was a whale, a definate whale, 12 m long just braking the surface and blowing spouts and it rolled along. this was the big square nosed type not the large dolphin type we saw the other evening. Its one thing I wanted to see.
We sailed on for a while then the wind dropped and we had to motor but within two hours we had wind to sail and in an hour we had to take down the light genny and use the no.1. since then we have glided along at between 5 and 5.5 kts on a sea from flat to bumpy. Infect we did cross a patch of sea with a short chop and crests but no more wind !!
I hope the wind will keep going the grib indicates that light winds which go from south the west  hopefully the strength will be above predicted and we can keep moving at 5 kts at least.  We could motor from 150 miles away,  just,   but do not want to.the good news is that eth time to waypoint  calculated by the gps had gone from 2.5 to 1.7 days so we are getting there, i guess its still two days away ! maybe 2.5 till tie up !!
the water temp is 22.5 and feels cold
in the shade its 24 in eth afternoon and in the sun its 30+
the wind is cool as its a high pressure area and as eth sun goes down the decks get damp and its cold